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Nuno, Pluta receive graduate statistics award

The two Ph.D. students were honored with Robert L. Newcomb Memorial Endowed Graduate Student Award


Statistics Ph.D. students Michelle Nuno and Dustin Steven Pluta have been honored with the Robert L. Newcomb Memorial Endowed Graduate Student Award. Established in honor of the late Robert Newcomb, founding director of the UC Irvine Center for Statistical Consulting and dedicated 45-year member of the UCI community, the award supports outstanding graduate students working toward statistics degrees.

Q&A with Michelle Nuno
Michelle Nuno is from Chino, Calif., and received her bachelor’s degree from UC Riverside. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and her research.

Why did you choose to pursue graduate studies at ICS?
After receiving my acceptance letter, professors from the department sent personalized emails. During my visit, everyone was very friendly and I found that I could be very happy here.

How does it feel to have received the Robert L. Newcomb Memorial Endowed Graduate Student Award?
I am very surprised, but also very grateful to have received this award.

What is your current research focus, and why did you choose to go into that field of study?
I am currently working on extending efficient sampling designs to deal with scenarios in which we may have time-varying effects. I became very interested in survival analysis and clinical studies after taking a survival analysis course last year.

What are your future career goals?
I plan to become a professor.

Any words of wisdom for prospective grad students looking to study at UCI?
Just do your best. You may run into difficult situations, but remember that everyone is here to help you.